Remember this Native American brave? It’s one of my proudest achievements, being able to get this man’s face, older, weather-beaten and macho just right…and without a guiding sketch.
The tricky bit has been finding a way to wear it. I love going sleeveless but I’ve somehow never gotten used to the spaghetti or otherwise strapped phenomenon. Call it deep-rooted middle class prudery, safety instincts or a consciousness over my arms, I don’t feel comfortable going strappy-shouldered. And the first rule of divadom is being comfortable in what you wear, you can see why this garment has lain unused for a long time.
Yesterday, though, I took heart and brought it out. I was getting ready for a Caferati read-meet, an event I knew I’d need to be comfortable for a long period of time but also confident as I’d be reading. Dressing well being my magic mantra to summon up confidence (Presentations, meetings, talks, workshops, seminars not withstanding, public speaking still makes my knees go knock-knock). The afternoon was also delivering the expected dose of heat, sweat and dust of a Mumbai summer. And finally, I had a temple visit on the calendar, just before the read-meet (no, don’t ask me about that, I don’t discuss it).
Jeans were out of the question, thick and clingy as they’d be. My favorite denim half-trousers (I don’t know what else to call them) by AND came to the rescue. These were a lucky, very lucky find at a sale nearly two years ago. They’re made of navy blue soft, lightweight denim. They’re also roomy enough to be comfortable but tailored with just that right finish to fall on the side of smart and not sloppy. I’m guessing the front fold and the hems do that but I could be wrong.
The problem of the straps was solved with a red shrug. I adopted the shrug really late into the trend. I still think it looks ridiculous on most people, a garment that started off as a jacket but changed its mind and got left hanging around the shoulders looking silly. But I picked up snug-fit shrugs in black, white and red in the tee-shirt hosiery material. These cling to the skin and look almost like a part of the rest of the top so they don’t look as ridiculous to me.
The touch I’m really happy about in this outfit is (characteristically for me), the accessories. I didn’t want to detract from the outfit with its central focus on the native American portrait and the colour blocking of the shrug and half-trousers. I passed over the red spidery sandals and went in for the tan flat sandals I got in the Inc.5 sale in January. I couldn’t resist adding a wee line of colour in the form of a string of ankle beads with a couple of little ghungroos attached.
My bag was my favorite red Baggit which I picked over a brown leather bag and the rose tote featured in this one. Still staying disciplined over not distracting from the clothes, I didn’t want the footwear and the bag to even look like they matched. And I finally let myself go with the earrings.
These feathered cuties are from….Archies, would you believe? I think the last thing I bought from Archies was an address book with Keanu Reeves on the cover, in 1994. But when I saw these funky feathers hanging on the accessories stand, I had to stop and look. When I bought them, I had no idea what I could wear them with but the minute I pulled on that vest, these feathers practically flew out of their holder and onto my earlobes.
Sneha indulged my vanity and shot these photographs just before the read-meet. And during the tea break, Aastha asked me if I’d recorded the look for an I Wear post. So thank you, ladies, for the support and the encouragement!
- Red hosiery shrug: Honey
- White singlet: FabIndia, painted by me
- Navy blue denim half-trousers: AND
- Tan flat sandals: Inc. 5
- Red handbag: Baggit
- Red beaded anklet: Janpath market, New Delhi
- Feathered earrings: Archies